Two For The Price of One
Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is one of the few betting big on dual camera smartphones. They already have the Honor 8 with dual cameras in the premium segment and it’s now time for the inexpensive Honor 6x. It is a mid-range phone but it’s the cheapest smartphone today with a dual camera setup, dethroning the recently launched Coolpad Cool 1 (launched in December 2016). The Honor 6x dual camera system includes a 12MPprimarysensorand2MPsecondarysensor. The 2MP sensor is for depth sensing and only activates when you enable the wide aperture mode. Once activated, you can tap on the area you want to focus on and adjust the simulated aperture between f0.95 to f16. You can even adjust the aperture and focus area after the image is captured. In daylight, the Honor 6x will impress you with you with its quality in the standard mode as well as wide aperture mode. Indoors, the images appeared great on the phone, but on a larger screen we could see noise and lack of details. Also, the Honor 6x lacks image stabilization of any kind which would have been a welcome addition. Compared to the Coolpad Cool 1, the autofocus speed is the same but the Honor 6x is faster when it comes to speed in the wide aperture mode. However, while the Cool 1 is capable of recording 4k videos, the Honor 6x is limited to full HD videos only. Overall, if you are looking for a smartphone that can give you a shallow depth of field at a mid-range price, the Honor 6x should be amongst your top choices.
The design of the Honor 6x is like other phones in this price range — a full glass front with a unibody metal back. The Honor 6x feels good to hold thanks to the curved design. The 5.5-inch full HD display offers rich colours, wide viewing angles and slim bezels. The dual camera setup is placed vertically on the rear while the fingerprint scanner is under the camera module. A big benefit of the Honor 6x is that it feels much lighter compared to other phones in this price range.
Hardware specifications include an octa core Kirin 655 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and a 3,340mAh battery. Performance for normal usage like multimedia, social network and calling is butter smooth. The phone had no issues running games such as Asphalt 8 as long as you don’t have anything running in the background. As for the software benchmarks, the Kirin 655 is about par with the Snapdragon 625. What impressed us more was the excellent battery life of the Honor 6x — a full charge easily lasted a day and a half. However, there is no proper fast charging support, so it takes a good 2 hours plus to charge the battery from 10 to 100% using the provided charger. Honor 6x comes with EMUI 4.1 based on Android 6.0 — the interface is loaded with features and works great. All your apps and widgets are placed on multiple home panels (there is no app drawer) and you can swipe down to bring up the search box. You also get a split screen fea-
The 6x dual camera includes a 12MP primary sensor and a second 2MP one for depth sensing
ture, display customization, one hand mode, power saving mode and an easy mode. A handy feature that deserves special mention is called WiFi bridge — you can use the phone as a WiFi extender to boost your WiFi’s range when required. Even the camera mode is loaded with multiple shoot modes including a Pro mode for manual settings. The EMUI 5.0 update for an upgrade to Android 7.0 is expected in Q2 2017.
Overall, the Honor 6x will appeal to users who are looking for a feature-rich phone with a good camera. A direct competitor to the Honor 6x is the Coolpad Cool 1 (`13,999). The CoolPad (by LeEco) has 4GB RAM, 4k video recording and fast charging support via USB Type-C.